Weird Angle [901]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Kevin and Lexi were driving south in hopes of locating Dan, who had disappeared while driving toward Otter Village. Along the way, Kevin tells Lexi why he left Chicago.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight
Who Needs Drama?
Entanglement
Dan Drives North
Geolocation
Lexi Needs A Ride

Kevin’s Tangled Saga]

Brown bunny rabbit

It was a strange dream, with voices from faraway. He knew better than to answer them, for he was a small thing, curled up next to a tree, and did not want to end up on a dinner plate. His nose twitched like a rabbit’s. A wascally wabbit! Outsmarting Elmer Fudd once again. He smiled and went back to sleep.

But he was cold, so cold. The tree was cold. He huddled closer to it and realized it was made of metal. A metal tree? He opened his eyes, which made his head hurt. Then he realized he wasn’t next to a tree at all but a pole. He grabbed it with his paws that were not paws but human hands. Sticky hands.

“Dan! Dan!” someone kept shouting. The voice of a woman. A memory floated up. A woman in restaurant eating fries from his plate. Smiling, laughing, pretty. Then she was in his car. Oh! He had a car. That was good. He should find where he parked.

Pretty blue-eyed blonde

He tried to pull himself up and pain shot up his spine, and spiked through his shoulder, leaving him out of breath. His hands were throbbing. Had he been in a fistfight? What the hell? He lay back down on the lumpy cold ground, dizzy and panting. Everything hurt, he realized now. He tried to roll onto his left side as he did in the morning when getting out of bed and screamed.

“Dan!” the voice was a man’s now, closer.

They’d come back for him, to finish it. He understood now. Angela and that beast, the supposed rotten boyfriend who’d stranded her, but in fact had been tailing them until Angela pretended to be sick and made him pull off the freeway. Then the boyfriend had beaten him up, and they’d stolen his car, but now they’d decided to kill him so he couldn’t identify them.

He would die here in the dirt at the hands of criminals, and his brother was dead too, and that would be the end of the Mitchells.

Dark deserted road

“Dan? Is that you?” Lexi bent down over the dark shape next to the utility pole, shining her flashlight on the person’s face. “Oh, my God, Kevin. It’s him, but he’s all bruised… his face… and his leg is at a weird angle.” She put her fingers on his throat and felt a weak pulse.

“We can’t move him,” Kevin said. He called 911 and asked for an ambulance ASAP, telling them there might be spinal injuries. He gave their exact location from the GPS.

“Nick was pretty accurate,” Lexi said. “But what happened here? Where’s his car?”

Dan moaned and she held his hand. It was like a chunk of ice. “Shh. It’s all right. We’ve called for an ambulance. Just lie still for another couple minutes.”

“Looks like… well, I don’t know. Maybe he stopped to take a pee and someone bashed him up, stole his car?” Kevin paced around them, but stayed close, Lexi noted, and was very grateful for it. Even though they were close to the road, it was almost pitch black, and who knew what lurked in the trees behind them? More car-stealing bashers?

“Angela,” Dan whispered.

“What?” Lexi said. He repeated it and she heard him. “He’s saying ‘Angela.'”

Kevin shrugged. “Does that mean anything to you?”

“No, but I don’t know much about his life. Dan,” she said close to his ear. “It’s Lexi, Alexandra. Not Angela. I’m here with my friend Kevin and we’ve called for help. Just hang tight.”

“Maybe this Angela stole his car,” Kevin suggested as sirens faintly wailed in the distance. “Maybe it wasn’t random.”

“I think he’s just confused about my name because he’s hurt,” Lexi said. “I see lights. That was fast.”

“Hi!” Dan said, waving to the emergency personnel. “Over here. We don’t know what happened to him.”

Two male paramedics ran to them. “Please step back,” one said to Lexi.

She scrambled out of the way as they began to work on Dan, taking his blood pressure, and loading him onto a stretcher.

Next, two police officers approached them. Lexi had been so engrossed in watching the paramedics she hadn’t noticed a second vehicle pull up.

“How did you happen to find this man?” A female officer asked.

“Well, I…”

Silhouette cop surrounded by blue light

Then she realized the cop wasn’t talking to her, but to Kevin. And a second police car had pulled up. Two more officers strode toward them. It occurred to Lexi that it might appear to someone who didn’t know what was going on that she and Kevin had somehow hurt Dan, which was of course ridiculous!

“We were actually looking for him,” Kevin said. “He was coming up to visit Lexi and stopped communicating, so we began to worry about him.”

Lexi thought that this was too brief of an explanation and wanted to begin at the beginning so the cops would have a full picture of the Dan situation and why she and Kevin had received GPS info from Nick–and it would probably be a neat idea to mention that a fellow cop had helped them–

“Okay, sir,” the officer replied to Kevin. “May I see some identification please?”

As the paramedics lifted Dan into the ambulance, Lexi had one second to decide whether to jump in after them or to stay here and help Kevin explain everything…

[to be continued]

~*~

Images from Pexels and Pixabay

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

One-Liner Wednesday

This is somewhat true for me. I’m still missing my mom 11 years on, and she was definitely someone I “had,” a huge part of my life, but otherwise… yeah. It’s pretty easy for me to dump material possessions as I downsize (again) for moving. But it was difficult for me to let the “soul mate” dream go. I’ve never had a soul mate, which may seem ironic for a romance writer, so when my 20-year marriage ended, I became more determined than ever to find this person. It took 5 years of increasingly frustrating and depressing situations for me to realize I had to let the dream go for my own mental and emotional health. I talk about this a lot because it helps me reinforce it to myself. I just today posted in comments to 2 blogs how much happier I am without the wings of this dream beating in my brain.

But it was a struggle to lug the thing to the trash bin and leave it there.

~*~

One-Liner Wednesday

Image found on Google

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Hello, It’s Me

As Rory continues to amass his dossiers on us, I for one am happy to provide loads of juicy info for his future blackmail schemes. How about you?

Secret agents

1. What makes you laugh, as in really laugh hard?

Unexpected humor is the best. I love to be caught off-guard by someone making a wordplay in the middle of a conversation. That just cracks me up, especially if it pulls in a layered reference to a past event. I can be moved to tears by verbal silliness. One thing I particularly enjoy (though it isn’t spontaneous) is parody. When I watched this video the other day for the first time, I was literally LMAO!

2. What makes you really angry?

What doesn’t? That would be a shorter list. Idiots who blow through red lights and go way over the speed limit. Tailgaters. People who abuse children and pets. Racism and antisemitism. Leaf blowers. Litterbugs. Any repetitive beeping sound wtfff shut up!!!

People who refuse to take responsibility for their own feelings. Blamers, whiners, and bullies. Sulkers and pouters. But also those who scream endlessly. Stalkers. Narcissists. Compulsive liars. Yes, I could have just said men on dating sites. 🙄

3. Who knows you the best?

My daughters probably know me best of all, but no one knows the real me. There’s a blogger (inactive now) whom I’ve never met in person, but when we were hanging out online she was great at understanding what I meant. I sometimes write obscurely and she would translate for the masses. (I’m better at writing clearly than I used to be.) My ex-husband also could translate my thoughts for me way back when. It’s nice to feel understood, without having to explain 27 different ways before someone goes “oh I see,” and then you wonder if they’re just being polite. These two somehow tapped into the way my mind worked regarding conceptual thought, and that was very cool.

But that’s just one aspect of a person, how they think about concepts. It’s important, granted, but there are other things, needs, values, dreams, goals, humor, etc. I used to be more “branded” with stuff like cupcakes and shoes and favorite novels and ways of expressing myself, so that it was easier for people to predict what I might say. But I became too bored with all that, even if it’s ideal for an online presence. Some people know a few facets of me well, and a few (my daughters) know many… but there are some no one knows, maybe not even me.

Eye behind camera lens with chess pieces

~*~

Rory’s Question Fun Directory

Rory’s Really You S1G3

Images from Happy Color and Pixabay

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Dada’s Game

Surreal chess

The day was made of squares,
Newbright and melting gold,
Like crowns straight from the fire.
I thought I saw you there;
My breath turned into mist.
But knight came with a plot twist:
Ice blue squares adorned this board,
Glowing like a cheap motel.
The gold softened into quicksand;
My castles sank as the snow fell.
I watched your bishop’s mask slip,
Revealing the demon dog beneath;
It gobbled up my last three pawns.
Checkmate, you said,
Leaving me with a bill in hand,
And ghosting off to Forest Lawn.

~*~

Written for Dverse Surrealism.

Image credit to Pixabay.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Red Red Wine (Miss You)

I don’t always do photo prompts, but when I do… I like to do Cee’s color prompts! Enjoy a splash of red this fine morning. ❤️

Red roseCalifornia drivingChihuly glass artKitty and red sparkly shoes Red wine at California winery

~*~

Images are all mine mine MINE! 😛

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Blogging and Licorice

Dr Tanya continues her series of blogging about blogging by asking today:

“How do you write fresh content when everything that is worth saying has already been said?”

Water cooler bitmoji

First, I would like to note that Dr. Tanya asks us to leave a link in her comments when we respond to this question, but her comments appear to be disabled (again).

Second, my specific answer to the question is that it’s easy to write fresh content when we stay in the realms of fiction, poetry, and personal experiences. As we respond to the prompts using our imagination to create a piece of flash fiction or a poem, we will end up with something new. That’s what I love about the prompts ~ the various ways we each react to the same picture. Fascinating! Personal stories are fun to read too; usually we can relate to some element in another blogger’s peeve or smile.

Where we get in trouble imo, where things slide into boringness, is when people turn their blogs into link machines. I don’t want to see posts full of clicks to CNN or to items to purchase, nor do I want to read yawny advice on finance or health or any other thing. Am I telling people what to write? Of course not. Write whatever the hell you want! I’m simply answering the question: what’s fresh content vs dull content in my opinion. (In another blog’s comments, I was accused of telling people what to write when giving this opinion.)

Third, what happens when you write the kind of stuff someone doesn’t care for? Say you’re a person who loves to post product reviews on your blog… and you read this post of mine. What happens now? Should you get infuriated and crab at me? Well, that is one option. Or you could think hmm she doesn’t want to read blogs that are mainly product reviews, oh well… I guess I’ll go focus on people who do.

I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve read/heard someone saying they hate romance novels or poetry. I get it. It’s not your cup of tea. That’s not a problem for me… I will continue writing romance and poetry just the same because I enjoy it. And I don’t crab at the folks who think poetry is boring or romance writing is stupid; they have every right to their tastes. I’m not sure why there’s this persistent percentage of peeps who think it’s important that nothing ever be criticized.

It’s okay to have preferences. It really is. And there’s nothing more annoying than someone trying to talk you out of them. I ran into this guy once who seemed upset that I didn’t like black licorice and wanted to prove to me that I had never actually tasted “real” licorice. But what if it’s true that I go my whole life believing I don’t like licorice without actually knowing the real taste of real licorice…

What difference does it make?

Bitmoji shrug

~*~

Images from the Bitmoji app.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

A New Life [flash 201]

When she was a child, she played in a magic garden with a sparkling unicorn and a rainbow of butterflies. One day, she jumped in a glittering aqua pool and was pulled out by rough hands. Scared, she stared into an unfamiliar face.

“Foolish girl,” the old man said. “That river is dirty. Don’t go in there again.”

“What about my white horse?” she cried.

He laughed but not unkindly and returned her to the orphanage, where they punished her for escaping again. A few years later, they sent her out to work for a wealthy family to earn her keep. She cleaned their floors and sometimes was allowed to help in the kitchen, where she might stir a pot of sauce or cut up vegetables.

One day, she was in the driveway helping the chauffeur wax the white limo when the old man appeared, the one who pulled her from the river. He didn’t seem to recognize her however.

But when he walked past he commented, “When you’re eighteen you can get your license and learn to drive my limo. Maybe a car can replace the white horse you left behind and you can create a new life for yourself.”

~*~

BrewNSpew Cafe

Image credit to lovethispic.com

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Monday Peeve 10

The Monday Peeve annoyed kitty

Smiles and positive posts are all well and good, but sometimes I need to vent a bit. How about you? That’s what The Monday Peeve is all about, a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again (hah). I’ll pick a topic that’s on my mind, but you can vent about whatever you please, here in comments or on your own blog. Grab the photo, use the #TMP tag, and link back to me (or not ~ I dgaf), and Bob’s yer uncle. I do reserve the right to delete any links that offend my delicate sensibilities. So far, none have, but it could happen! I have feelings!

I don’t even know where to start with this peeve… it’s not really a single peeve but more like a peeve cascade. Buckle up! 😮

First, I noticed that my Amazon Prime movies were doing an annoying thing: I’d click on one to watch but get a message it wasn’t available. Sometimes I’d have to click 5 times before the movie would start and it’s not like any of these flicks are masterpieces. I googled this issue and it said to restart my whole Roku dealio, so I did and nothing has changed. This was not and is not happening on Netflix, btw.

Second, a few days later I received an email from Roku telling me that my Roku was old and might quit working properly. Well, great news there. They had a special offer for me, natch. For a mere $15 (plus T&S), I could upgrade to Roku Express and stay in the loop with software updates and such.

Third, last night (Wednesday) I decided to order the stupid thing. I had to create a new Roku password because I forgot mine and also had to change my credit card because the one on file had expired. But the Roku website wouldn’t accept my new card. I entered it like 27 times and nope. It wouldn’t take it.

Fine. I figured I’d buy the damn thing on my phone. But this was one of those times, and there are many, when the new chained password failed to actually chain to my linked device. Okay, I decided to request a new NEW password on my phone and chain it back to my laptop (for whatever reason the chain always works in that direction). But Roku said no, you can’t. I logged out on my laptop. Still no. 😡

OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD LET ME SPEND SOME MONEY WOULD YOU PLEASE!!!!!

Then I had a brainflash. I turned on my TV, went to Roku settings, and changed my credit card info there.

Breaking Bad Jesse yeah science

I ran right back to the Roku website on my laptop, logged in, saw that my CC had been automagically updated, and bought the whatsit Express. Whoop de farkin’ doo!

Then, then my friends, Roku says to me…

“Hey girl. We see you don’t have a Roku TV. Would you like to buy some speakers for it? Remember, they only work with a Roku TV!” 🤯🤯🤯

I mean… I mean… I’m already out $22 for this Express nonsense, when I thought the original Roku would last the rest of my life. I don’t trust these peeps at all now, and I assume I’ll have to buy more dumbassery upgrades in the future to keep using my TV for streaming channels if I even want to… have I mentioned that most movies are crap? But then every once in a while there comes along a Sopranos or a Breaking Bad or a Game of Thrones… 💖

Anyway, sure, let me get right on that special speaker deal just as soon as I jump on this sail sale… I hear they only work with boats…

Sailboat ocean lavender golden sunset

~*~

Images from Pixabay, Google, Pexels.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Betrayal [880]

[This is a multi-part story. We previously read that Liana, Sura, and Nami were traveling through the dangerous monkey jungle in hopes of reaching the Royal Hall before Miko’s funeral.

If you’d like to read the chapters in order, please follow this list. Thanks!

The Murmuration
Liana’s Journey Continues
Captured
The Shark’s Tooth
An Honored Guest
Miko’s Plan
A Cup of Tea?
Liana’s House
Strange News
Waves
The Monkey Jungle]

Tropical island garden

Liana stood straight and proud, willing her face into a calm pool of serenity, as the Queen examined Kenju. Inside, however, Liana quaked with fear. Her stomach curled with eels of terror. Her legs, under the brightly flowered dress Sura had somehow found for her, trembled like saplings in a windstorm.

“Look how he smiles,” Sura whispered. “It’s a good sign.”

Liana shook her head slightly. “I think he just has a tummy bubble.”

The Queen opened Kenju’s blanket, turned him around, and handed him back to Sura. “The baby has the mark of the Storm God,” the Queen announced.

Her ladies peered at Kenju as Sura pushed his swaddling down so they could see the tiny dark crescent on his shoulder.

Liana had noticed it, of course. It hadn’t meant anything to her. But the Queen was pleased, which calmed her nerves. The servants began to pile the wooden tables high with platters of breads, fruits, meats, and salads, in preparation for the funeral feast. Sura had told her that everyone would come to pray for Miko’s spirit to have a safe journey to the land beyond. And then they would celebrate and dance.

Colorful fruit platter

“She is a witch!” a woman screamed. “And her son is a demon who will bring rains of fire and plagues of scorpions to our people. Your Majesty, I beg you not to be deceived by this treacherous sorcery. She murdered my nephew!”

“It’s Adoka!” Sura gasped, pointing to the back. “She’s gone mad!”

Quickly, Liana took Kenju in her arms and tucked him back into his pouch, nestling him close to her body. She pulled another blanket around him, obscuring him from view. She would not allow any harm to come to him! Sura patted her shoulder reassuringly.

The Queen rose from her throne. “Who dares to speak curses on this day? Bring her!”

Liana watched the royal guards drag Adoka before the Queen. “Please,” Adoka cried. “Do not trust this evil Liana! She poisoned my nephew Miko, your best commander, which is why he is no longer gathering treasure for you and instead waits for the flames.”

Everyone remained silent in the face of this outrageous accusation. The Queen laughed. “Are you saying that this little girl, who just gave birth, somehow managed to kill my fiercest and most powerful warrior?”

The room erupted in laughter and chatter. “Quiet!” the Queen demanded. “Surely, you brought proof, aunt of Miko. If not, I will consider you a madwoman and have you fed to the pigs.”

“I found the deadly blackberry growing in her garden,” Adoka said. “Miko went there to propose marriage and was never seen alive again.”

Blackberry

A man stepped forward, another pirate, Liana guessed, from his powerful build and painted skull. The Queen’s guard were on immediate alert, six brawny men stepping forward between them, spears out, ready to kill the new man on the spot, it appeared to Liana. What a brutal people, so unlike her true homeland. But she was one of them now, and would behave the same to protect what she held dear.

“It’s true!” he shouted. “I am Vuo, brother of Miko the warrior. He told me of the strange happenings since this witch appeared. She murdered even more men, men who first rescued her from the sea. Ando and Ray.”

The Queen raised an eyebrow and sat back down, giving a signal to her guard to move back as well. “Now that is an interesting story. Miko himself testified to me that those men killed each other. Are you now calling him a liar, brother of Miko?”

Vuo clasped his hands behind his back, which made his muscles bulge. “I believe he was protecting the witch because she had put a spell on him. He wanted to marry her from the start.”

“She’s a demon!” Adoka hissed, pointing at Liana. “Kill her at once! Her and the babe! Burn them alive!”

Fire

The chattering from the crowd became louder and Liana huddled against Sura as people stared and pointed at them. Some faces were merely curious, while others were clearly hostile. Obviously the pirate warriors had many fans in this hall, plus no one liked witches and demons.

The Queen held up her hand in a gesture for silence and turned her glittering gaze on Liana. She smiled, obviously enjoying the unexpected drama. “What have you to say for yourself against this accusation of murder? There are three good warriors gone, to be replaced by only one breeding woman and a helpless baby.”

As Liana tried to formulate a defense, Kenju began to cry. “My baby needs…” she said as she awkwardly positioned him to nurse while standing up.

While Liana was engaged with the baby, Sura spoke up. “Your Majesty, it is true that Miko was poisoned at Liana’s home…”

Liana stared in shock at Sura, horrified at this crushing betrayal, but she could do nothing, say nothing, simply stand there as her life was destroyed once again and now taking her innocent baby’s along with it. She wished she had perished in the volcano with her beloved family and had never come to this wretched place. Why had Benji sent her off in the boat only to be met with this infinitely worse fate? Why?

[to be continued]

~*~

Images from Pexels and Pixabay.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Song Lyric Sunday ~ Do

Thank you Jim Adams for giving us every form of “do” this week so we could have lots of great songs to choose from! I picked “How Do You Do,” a 1972 megahit for the Dutch pop duo of Mouth and MacNeal. It was written by Hans van Hemert and Harry van Hoof.

Before I researched this song, I had assumed that “Mouth” was the nickname of the female half of the duet. Wrong! Willem Duyn (RIP) was the male half and he was also known as Big Mouth. The female half was Maggie MacNeal (born Sjoukje van’t Spijker). Big Mouth had sung in various other bands, while MacNeal enjoyed a solo career; then they teamed up for their smash success song, plus a few others that charted well. They split in 1974 and never did as well again as far as the music charts.

Once I said I wanted you, I don’t remember why
I often wonder if it’s true, that you could make me cry
I only know it’s long ago, you said, I love you too
But I got one solution left, we’re gonna start anew
How do you do? mmm mmm
I thought why not, na-na, na-na
Just me and you
And then we can, na-na, na-na
Just like before
And you will say, na-na, na-na
Please give me more
And you will think, na-na, na-na
Hey, that’s what I am living for
How do you do? hoe-hoe
Once I said I wanted you and I remember why
I often wonder if it’s true, you still can make me cry
And now it’s not so long ago, you said, I love you too
‘Cause I had one solution left and that’s to start anew
How do you do? mmm
How do you do? hoe-hoe

~*~

Image credit to Jim Adams.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.